- Sire-Dam -
Order Of St George was one of the best stayers around until his retirement was announced in the autumn of 2018.
The highlight of his 13 career wins was when landing the the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2016 and he was beaten just a short head by Big Orange
The Galileo colt also gained a dour victory in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot in 2017, not to mention two Irish St Legers.
He was no sluggard, finishing third in the 2017 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and fourth in the 2018 edition.
“He has had a lot of racing and we didn’t want to take any chances with him,” said O’Brien. “He has a lot of miles on his body and was getting a bit older, and that was the reason really.
“He was a great horse. He had a lot of class, handled all kinds of ground and all kinds of trip. He’s a big, clear-winded horse and a big, good moving, scopey horse.”
Order Of St George won his connections almost £2 million in win and place prize money and will stand as a National Hunt stallion for Coolmore in 2019.
He won the Gold Cup in 2016 tremendous style by three lengths from Mizzou despite Ryan Moore, his jockey, calculating he had to ride “four different races” in what was a rough renewal.
Order Of St George had at least 8lb in hand of his rivals going into the Gold Cup according to the handicapper – not surprising given he was the highest-rated horse in Ireland in 2015 (rating of 124) after a runaway 11-length win in the Irish St Leger.
He easily won his next race after the Gold Cup but then suffered a shock defeat, at 1-7, when defending his Irish St Leger crown.
He showed that to be all wrong when dropped back in trip for the Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe – running a blinder to finish third behind stablemates Found and Highland Reel.
Order Of St George was possibly still feeling the effects of that effort when only fourth in the Group Two QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day.
He began his 2017 campaign with a creditable second at Navan in a Group 3 races over 1m 6f before landing the Beg Stakes at Leopardstown over the same trip.
Then came that agonising defeat at Royal Ascot, before a second runaway win in the Irish St Leger, a fourth in the Arc and his game success on Champions Day at Ascot.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said after the Champions Day success: “He never stops. In any race he’s ever run in, he always finishes them. He’s never, ever stopping. You saw him in the Gold Cup and the Irish Leger – sometimes the line comes too quick, but he doesn’t stop. He’s tough and he’s hard.”
Refreshed by his winter break, Order Of St George was not extended to make the most of straightforward tasks on his first two starts in 2018 but his usual spark was missing when he contested the Gold Cup for a third time and finished fourth.
BCS Career statistics
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